Napoli president denies striker Higuain has asked to leave club
Milan, July 19 (IANS) Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis denied that Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain has asked to leave the football club, with Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta also confirming there's "no negotiations" for the Argentine.
De Laurentiis said in a press conference on Monday that the 28-year-old has never told him he wants to leave and that no club has agreed to pay his release clause of 94.7 million euros ($104.8 million).
"There has never been contact between Juventus and Napoli. The Bianconeri never had any intention of paying the release clause, nor have we asked them to," De Laurentiis was quoted as saying by football-italia.net.
"I asked Marotta: 'do you really want to pay the clause?' and he told me they never had any intention of doing so. There's a contract of five years (with Higuain) and we've only had three, the ignorance in the world of football is total," he added.
"There's a release clause, according to which if someone says 'we'll pay it', Higuain can accept the offer from any club and Napoli will only accept those offers.
"The clause was inserted to protect ourselves, because the higher the clause the more someone has to pay. No club has offered it so far and Higuain hasn't said anything."
The Napoli president expressed his discontent with the headlines in some sports media that spoke of a move by Higuain to Juventus.
Sky Sport Italia earlier reported that Juventus have already agreed personal terms with Higuain, offering him a four-year contract worth 7.5 million ($8.27 million) per season.
Top Juventus official Marotta also denied reaching an agreement with Higuan, who scored 36 times in 35 Serie A games last season.
"Yes, there's no negotiation for Higuain. De Laurentiis said we won't pay the release clause? I'd say yes, that's how it is. I'd say yes, absolutely.
"It's a closed subject. For now. There's no negotiation with Napoli. I won't add anything else."
De Laurentiis was also asked about Napoli's pursuit of Juventus attacking midfielder Roberto Pereyra.
"Pereyra is out of play. Simone Zaza? We have a lot of strikers. The transfer window is long."
Juventus are currently in search of a striker since Spanish Alvaro Morata left for Real Madrid last month.